FUKUOKA – The body of Tetsu Nakamura, the Japanese physician and devoted aid worker who was killed in a shooting five days earlier in Afghanistan, arrived Monday in his home prefecture of Fukuoka accompanied by members of his family.
The 73-year-old, who headed the Peshawar-kai aid group based in the city of Fukuoka, and five Afghans including his driver and bodyguards were killed Wednesday when armed men attacked their vehicles in Jalalabad in the eastern province of Nangarhar.
The group said funeral services will be held Wednesday in Fukuoka. Japanese police said they will conduct an autopsy to determine the cause of Nakamura’s death and launch an investigation into his murder.
On Sunday, the plane carrying Nakamura’s body arrived at Narita Airport near Tokyo at around 5:30 p.m. Nakamura’s wife, Naoko, 66, oldest daughter, Akiko, 39, and senior Vice Foreign Minister Keisuke Suzuki laid flowers and observed a moment of silence as the coffin was unloaded at Narita.
Representatives of the Afghan Embassy in Japan were also among some 15 people who paid tribute to Nakamura at Narita airport, some shedding tears as his family laid flowers.
The civilian plane left Kabul on Saturday after the Afghan government held a ceremony at the airport, with President Ashraf Ghani joining soldiers in carrying the coffin. Ghani also met with Nakamura’s family, who had traveled to the country to accompany the doctor’s body back to Japan.
Authorities in Nangarhar have said they obtained information about a possible attack on Nakamura about a year ago, and had assigned four bodyguards to protect him.
Anti-government militants, including the Taliban and Islamic State, operate in the province.
Shah Mahmood Miakhel, governor of the province, told reporters on Thursday there is evidence that the attack was planned outside Afghanistan, without elaborating. Further investigations are necessary, he added.